ERISA Retirement accounts 401k, Pensions, IRAs

Compliance with the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA) rules have been a major issue of trustees and plan sponsors since this important legislation was passed in 1974.

Prior years to ERISA, a company could have a pension/retirement plan not backed by anything, if the company wasn’t profitable or went out of business, the retirement monies vanished and workers suffered. There were no official oversight of pension plans (401k & IRAs weren’t around then) there were abuses that’s why the 1974 law came to be.

Standard employee retirement plans now include many options, pensions and 401k, profit sharing, SEP IRAs, solo 401ks, Roth IRAs, but no matter what account you may have setup for retirement all plans maintained by an employer for the benefit of an employees is covered by ERISA, including stock bonus plans, insurance plans, (life and health disability), vacation and scholarship funds.

A fiduciary not only has a duty to become familiar with ERISA and to follow its standards, but also to seek outside assistance when appropriate.

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